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Working with Contractors

Working with Contractors

Check that they are licensed with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry or if they have a history of disciplinary actions. Ask for references, a local phone number and address (not a PO box). Research complaints online and how long they have been in business.

Avoid contractors who use high-pressure sales tactics, require upfront payment, or try to rush you into signing an “estimate” or “authorization” before you have decided to hire them. Be wary of individuals who show up unsolicited at your door, arrive in an unmarked truck or van, or don’t have a Minnesota contractor license number.

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry licenses residential builders, remodelers, roofers and manufactured home installers. To work in Minnesota, these professionals must be licensed. If you hire an unlicensed contractor, you will not have access to the Contractor’s Recovery Fund, which is available to compensate consumers who have suffered losses due to a contractor’s fraudulent, deceptive or dishonest practices.

Signing a contract

Before you sign a contract, make sure that you understand what you are signing and read the document carefully. Ask questions if you don’t understand the terms.

Make sure the contract include a detailed summary of the work to be done, a description of the materials to be used, a total contract price or how the price will be calculated,

Resolving a problem or complaint

Contact the Department of Labor and Industry’s Construction Codes and Licensing’s Enforcement Services unit at (651) 284-5069 to discuss your situation with an investigator who may offer suggestions about how to resolve the dispute. If the dispute cannot be resolved, you may submit a written request for a formal investigation.

Contact the Construction Codes and Licensing’s Enforcement Services unit at:

Phone: (651) 284-5069

Fax: (651) 284-5749

E-mail: DLI.Contractor@state.mn.us

Contractor’s Recovery Fund

The purpose of the Contractor’s Recovery Fund is to compensate consumers who have suffered losses due to a licensed contractor’s fraudulent, deceptive or dishonest practices, conversion of funds or failure to perform. All licensed contractors are required to pay a fee to the fund.

The total amount that can be paid out against any one licensed contractor is $75,000. If multiple claims are filed against the same contractor they are divided among the claimants. In that case, you may not be able to recover your entire loss. To better protect yourself, request that your contractor obtain a performance bond for your specific project. A performance bond would provide a specific level of protection for your project.

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